Three men have been jailed for a total of 11 years and seven months after carrying out barbaric illegal sheep butchery in the UK.
Between June 22nd, and October 7th last year, Robert Iordan, Florin Nutu and Viorel Manu travelled across rural areas in Northamptonshire, killing and butchering sheep in order to steal the meat and profit from it.
They were located by Northamptonshire Police’s rural crime team, acting on key information from NFU members and farmers, and arrested.
All three eventually pleaded guilty and were sentenced at Northampton crown court on Friday, March 27th.
Iordan, 23, and Nutu, 36, were both handed jail terms of four years and four months and Manu, 39, was ordered to serve two years and 11 months inside.
‘Horrific, barbaric and unprecedented’
NFU LNR county adviser, Harriet Ranson, who was involved in the case from the beginning and liaised with police throughout, said she was satisfied with the outcome.
“These crimes were horrific, barbaric and unprecedented and had the whole livestock farming community in Northamptonshire and neighbouring counties living in fear that they would be next for months,” she said.
“It is fantastic to see the courts treating these appalling crimes with the seriousness they deserve and handing down suitably lengthy prison terms to these dangerous men.
“This case really highlights how important local information from farmers, the NFU and the public is in helping to bring offenders before the courts.
In total, 12 reports of illegal butchery were made to Northamptonshire Police during this period, with the Operation Stock investigation launched in response.
Lead investigator, DC Jamie Cooper, said: “These crimes caused farmers a great deal of upset and anger last year and I’d like to thank them and the wider rural community for their support and patience during our investigation.
“Operation Stock was a huge team effort and I hope this case shows just how hard we will work to protect the livelihoods of our farming and rural communities, who were deeply affected by this crime series.”
Detective inspector, Johnny Campbell, added: “I would like to take this opportunity to say a big thank you to everyone who provided us with information throughout the Operation Stock investigation.
“Without a doubt, community intelligence was absolutely key in arresting all three of these men and being able to bring them to justice,” he concluded.
Image source: Northamptonshire Police Facebook